Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Concert features king of ?newgrass?

Express Staff Writer

Sam Bush Photo by Willy Cook

One last big musical extravaganza awaits us, when on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, fiddle and mandolin master Sam Bush plays at River Run Lodge, sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

Bush is worthy of the many platitudes he has gained through the years, but probably the most on target is his repute as the ?Mayor of Telluride.? He was the magic that that town?s annual Bluegrass festival was built on; its heart and soul for 27 years.

In Telluride, they also refer to him as King Sammy.

A child prodigy on the fiddle from Kentucky, he placed first at the national fiddle contest in Weiser, Idaho, three times in a row. In 1969, he formed a band and recorded his first album when he was 17 years old. The same year, he made his debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Bush was a member of the Bluegrass Alliance, a precursor to the influential band the New Grass Revival. After nearly two decades he went on to play with bluegrass supergroup Strength in Numbers and had a five-year stint leading Emmylou Harris? band, The Nash Ramblers. Some of his long time musical compadres are Béla Fleck, John Cowan, Jon Randall Stewart, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Tony Rice and Mark O?Connor.

If that?s not enough, Bush headlined the Northern Rockies Folk Festival, in Hailey in 2003 and gave one of the most stunning performances in the festi-val?s long history.

The musicianship of multi-instrumentalist Bush is nearly beyond compare. An acoustic music innovator, he?s the modern day Bill Monroe mixed in with the vibrant stage presence of Bruce Springsteen.

His live sets are nothing short of dynamic full of acoustic rock, passionate ballads and blistering solos. He laughs a lot, tells stories, plays to the audience and loves the St. Louis Cardinals.

What more is there?

Tickets are available through the Sun Valley Center at 726-9491.

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